By ANA PHELAN, age 9

PHOTO: Ana Phelan
PHOTO: Ana Phelan

World Savvy is an organization that teaches students about what is happening both in their world and in their communities.

The organization was first created in San Francisco by Dana Mortenson and Madiha Murshed where they teach middle school and high school kids. They teach about poverty, climate change, religion, culture and politics all over the world from all different points of view and backgrounds.

World Savvy has different programs, like the World Savvy Challenge, the Media and Arts Program (MAP) and the American Youth Leadership Program (ALYP). They work with 12 different middle and high school classrooms in New York City to teach global issues to students who participate in MAP.

The World Savvy New York Media and Arts Festival had an exhibit of the students work called Sustainable Communities at the Poet’s Den and Gallery in East Harlem. The festival showed the work the students had created during the program.

The students’ artwork included collages, photos, paintings, drawings as well as original music and performances all about sustainability. There was a huge turnout and everyone there seemed to be having fun. The students that were interviewed said they were proud of their work and/or their performances at the exhibit.

Jamilla Staine-Payne pointing to her photo of organic carrots at a farmers market. PHOTO: Ana Phelan
Jamilla Staine-Payne pointing to her photo of organic carrots at a farmers market. PHOTO: Ana Phelan

Jamilla Stain-Payne took photos of carrots at a farmers market. Jamilla said she wanted “to capture every aspect of the farmers market … [food] that is organic and you don’t necessarily see every day … in the supermarket. The assignment was to take a photo of either a person selling their item or their product and then give it a personality of its own.”

Jamilla said her goal was “to capture the color and how the carrots look so different from any supermarket brand. These are a little bit smaller than the ones I’ve come to know as a kid growing up, it just looks a lot different and the colors are a lot better.”

Jeremy Rivera is a performer at the program. PHOTO: Ana Phelan
Jeremy Rivera is a performer at the program. PHOTO: Ana Phelan

Jeremy Rivera is from the Bronx and is a senior in high school. He was a performer at the program and created a song about about American consumption and global warming.

“I’m showing the people how global warming is affecting us … it’s my own way of showing people that global warming is a serious situation,” Jeremy said.

Jeremy said he learned a lot through the program. “I learned how important these (issues) are to the world. Sustainability is a big topic.”

Adrian Johnson performed two songs at the event. PHOTO: Ana Phelan
Adrian Johnson performed two songs at the event. PHOTO: Ana Phelan

Adrian Johnson is from South Shore High School. He performed a song called “Mosh” and one called “I Have a Dream.”

The song called “Mosh” is about how we should change the world, how the president and the government should do something (to help) world,” he said.

Adrian said the “I Have a Dream” song “is basically … about having dreams, changing the world and making the world a better place.”

Peter and Cheng Mei stand next to their collage about nature. PHOTO: Ana Phelan
Peter and Cheng Mei stand next to their collage about nature. PHOTO: Ana Phelan

Peter, 17, and Cheng Mei, 19, are Chinese students at International High School near Union Square in Manhattan. They created a collage with a nature theme.

Peter said he wanted to show what happens when people destroy nature. “We want … to show people … that nature is very important,” he said.

Cheng Mei echoed Peter’s comments. “We care about nature. We care about society. Peter and I designed this one (to include) animals, flowers and trees.”

You can find more information about World Savvy at worldsavvy.org.